Now that the the 2016 MLB Draft is wrapped up, let us take a look how the Pittsburgh Pirates 2015 picks are performing in their first full season.
At the time the Pittsburgh Pirates 2015 draft was considered one of the weaker one under Neal Huntington. Many viewed top overall pick Kevin Newman as an average prospect, Kevin Kramer as a reach, and Jacob Taylor receiving Tommy-John surgery a month after signing. However, some of the picks have proven to be much better than many predicted. Let us take a look at the Pittsburgh Pirates top ten round draft picks last year:
First Round Pick, #19 overall: Kevin Newman, Shortstop
Many experts had Newman ranked as a top 30 talent in the draft. One expert saw something different in Newman, Keith Law had him ranked as a top ten talent in the draft. However, many fans were upset when drafting the shortstop at #19 overall. Newman did not do himself any favors by hitting .226 in his first 38 games at Short-Season A ball. However, he ended his 2015 campaign on a strong note batting .306 in 23 games at the Low-A level.
Newman entered this season as the starting shortstop for the Bradenton Marauders at the High-A level. He really started to show why the Pirates invested a first round pick on him. Through his first 41 games at the High-A level, Newman put up an incredible .366 batting average along with a .922 OPS. This earned him a promotion Double-A Altoona, where is currently is playing. So far he is hitting well for the Curve also posting an even .300 batting average. Newman will likely spend the rest of the season at AA. So far he has lived up to the first round pick that was invested on him.
Next: Hayes and Kramer